Phil Foden shines at Manchester City: The doctor has his new monster

14 wins in a row: Manchester City is currently on a wave of success that could hardly be more diverse. On the one hand there is the almost insurmountable defensive around John Stones and Ruben Dias, on the other hand Ilkay Gündogan’s unusual hunger for goals. In the 4-1 win of the Skyblues over Liverpool FC, someone else made the headlines. Phil Foden made his best game for the Citizens on Sunday, which was due on the one hand to his immense talent, but also to his new tactical role.There is a story in the coaching life of Pep Guardiola that like no other his influence on tactics illustrated in modern football. It happened on May 1, 2009, the day “the false nine position was invented”. At least that’s what Thierry Henry claimed in the documentary “Take the Ball, Pass the Ball” about the FC Barcelona team in the four years from 2008 to 2012 with Guardiola as head coach. The night before the Clasico against the royal arch-rivals from Madrid Guardiola called his model student Lionel Messi and ordered him to the Ciutat Esportiva training ground. “He wanted to tell me we were going to change the system,” Messi replied to the perplexed but valid question of why. Guardiola had noticed in his analysis that Real’s central defenders never came out to press the center forward. So he pulled Henry and Samuel Eto’o out of the center, Henry on the wings, Eto’o between midfield and defense. Messi was supposed to fall back into midfield as the wrong nine to create confusion. The plan worked, Barca rolled over Real 6-2, Henry and Messi scored twice. A Clasico for the ages. One who wrote football history. Doctor Guardiola had found his polyvalent offensive monster and gave world football a new position with a fresh tactical concept. Almost twelve years later, Guardiola created something new, a kind of increase in the false nine. The soccer doctor had found his new, versatile monster in Phil Foden. It is not known whether he cited this to the training ground the night before the game against Liverpool, like Messi once did. Probably not. But the fact is: If Messi is the wrong nine, Foden has been an even wrong nine since Sunday. ManCity duped Liverpool thanks to Phil Foden: “Foden is God” Foden played four different positions against Liverpool and was still at Anfield on February 7th Road directly involved in three out of four goals. It was a day that may not have been quite as important for world football as May 2, 2009 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but it may have marked the point when a 20-year-old top talent from England made his final breakthrough at the age of eight Foden came to the Manchester City Academy years ago, and those in charge compared him to the young Messi at an early age. At least that’s what the portal The Athletic reported. But make a long-term breakthrough in Guardiola’s star ensemble? No home-grown man had succeeded in doing that since the Sheikh takeover at City. Foden also stewed all too often on the bench under the 50-year-old Catalan until the restart in May, although Guardiola called him “the most talented player I have in mine I have experienced coaching career, “said and ruled out a sale of the jewel from the start:” He’s the only player who may not be sold under any circumstances. Not even for 500 million euros. Phil is not going anywhere. He’s Manchester City. ” Foden rarely ran from the start. A political issue in Manchester in view of the many departures of talents like Jadon Sancho (BVB), Angelino (RB Leipzig) or Brahim Diaz (Real Madrid, loaned to Milan), who are now causing a sensation at other clubs in Europe. “His only problem is that his coach didn’t set him up from the start, “joked Guardiola when asked about his dealings with Foden:” But maybe that will change soon. ” And how that changed: Foden was in the starting line-up in five of six Champions League games in the group stage, in two FA Cup games, in three of four League Cup games and in the Premier League he started in In addition, Foden swapped positions with left winger Sterling again and again in the second half after Guardiola had switched from 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1-like system. With the substitution of Gabriel Jesus (72nd), Foden was given the role of right-winger, where he had his best scenes. Shortly after the changeover, he caught a botched Alisson tee, left Henderson and Robertson and played a perfect ( and only possible) pass to Gündogan, which only had to be inserted. Eight minutes before the end he was served on the right by Gabriel Jesus, after a clean acceptance of the ball he immediately went one-on-one with Robertson, a hook to the left and into the net. Rock hard under the bar. “Awesome,” said Klopp himself, who is known to have one or the other problem with losing. Phil Foden: “God” and Guardiola’s new MonsterFodens game against Liverpool on Sunday was pretty complete. He defended more than Messi or Roberto Firmino do in their roles as false nine. He appeared on the left and right, came in final situations himself or prepared such, scored himself highly worth seeing.It is good form for attacking midfielders under Guardiola to constantly be in the forefront in a system without a striker in the absence of Sergio Agüero Rotate. Guardiola is currently demanding a change in the line-up of Gündogan, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne or Ferran Torres. But nobody has been as versatile and effective as Foden against Liverpool. In Manchester he is now “God”, “Manchester City” and Guardiola’s new monster rolled into one.

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